The Life Cycle of Trends… And We Don’t Just Mean Fashion

Trends come and go at lightning speeds. There isn’t time to sit on a PR idea; you must move quickly to gain any advantage from hopping on a trend’s bandwagon. But how? 

The key is understanding the life cycle of a trend:

  1. Introduction – often begins via influencers, media coverage or innovative brands; characterized by novelty and curiosity as early adopters and trendsetters embrace the emerging concept.

As a PR professional, it’s essential to closely monitor the evolving landscape and identify these developing trends. By doing so, you can position your clients and/or their brands as an authority and pioneer in the industry.

2. Growth – more people start adopting the trend, leading to increased media coverage and public interest.

PR pros should seize the opportunity to generate positive buzz around their clients and/or their brands by highlighting an association with the trend. Strategic collaborations with key influencers or leaders can amplify the message and solidify the brand’s position as an industry leader.

  1. Maturity – the trend becomes widely accepted and reaches its peak popularity; it is no longer confined to a niche audience but has permeated mainstream culture.

Brands must alter their strategies to maintain relevance while avoiding saturation. This can be achieved by showcasing unique aspects of their brand within the broader trend, standing out among competitors. Focusing on niche markets or audiences still untapped by the trend can help sustain momentum.

  1. Decline – popularity begins to decline.

This stage presents new challenges and opportunities. Instead of abandoning the trend, position your client/brand as part of the transition to the next emerging trend. By recognizing the evolution of consumer preferences and modifying messaging accordingly, brands can maintain relevance and ensure a smooth transition.

  1. Rebirth of Relevance – though rare, a “rebirth” may occur due to nostalgia, innovation, or changes in societal dynamics.

PR pros who can identify these resurging trends can capitalize on the renewed interest and leverage it to create a fresh narrative.

In the world of public relations, staying ahead of the curve is pivotal for success. As society evolves and consumer preferences change, trends emerge and fade away. With public relations, marketing, and communications becoming increasingly data-driven, forecasting the next trend will up your game.

Anticipating a trend relies on comprehending the life cycle of social movements and discerning the emerging signals before they capture widespread attention. PR professionals can leverage media monitoring software and/or social listening tools to identify trends ahead of the masses, enabling them to shape crucial business decisions. Through research and expertise, you take the lead in shaping your industry as well as consumer perception.